Halloween Piece de Resistance

The ultimate in my Halloween decor for me has to be the full size coffin my father and I made together back in 2009.  It took 2 days, three wooden pallets, and the meticulous mathematic genius of my father to accomplish this not so small task.  I found instructions on the internet to make this, but my father is more of a hands-on woodworker.  He looked at the plans then set out to do all his own measuring, angling, and cutting.  He just needed the picture of what I wanted it to look like, and off to work he went.

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Every time I look at this, which is practically every day of the year as it is stored in the garage next to my car, I smile.  The memories of all the fun my dad and I had making this are priceless.  Probably the funniest memories are from when we were deciding how large to make the coffin. After we debated for a bit, my father laid down on the floor and told me to mark a few inches above his head, below his feet and on either side of him.  When I was done he said, “There!  Now when the time comes, I’ll be all set.”  We laughed, but it was even funnier when he yelled upstairs to my mother and said, “Honey, come on down here for a minute.  It’s time for your fitting!”

Of course my mother didn’t find this the least bit funny, but we did.  Iy was all in good fun.  Perhaps morbid fun, but to this day my father and I still have a good laugh when we reminisce.

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You might not think the size would really matter, but being that it is a full size coffin, it has been perfect for photo ops at every Halloween party we’ve had.  You’d be surprised how anxious people are to crawl inside and get their picture taken.  The first year we had this displayed, I had a hard time keeping Zeb out of it.  He was constantly crawling inside it and trying to scare everyone.

Now I keep the lid screwed on tight for display purposes, as Halloween parties are a thing of the past for now.  Maybe when the kids get over being “too old” for Halloween, we can once again enjoy Halloween for what it is intended for — FUN!

This final piece of Halloween decor went up this morning in the front foyer and is the perfect finishing touch for the season.  What great fun and wonderful memories, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

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Halloween’s Everywhere

The room that the family spends the most time in at our house, besides the kitchen, would be our great room.  This is also the room where I have the most decorating opportunities.  As with Christmas, this is the center of my decorating.

This year I added decorations to our stairway.  I absolutely love this.  I had a vision, but after I’d bought the tulle netting, I had to let it sit for about a week before inspiration hit me.  It took nearly three hours to complete, but I think the end product is fairly impressive.

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Grace came to me one afternoon several days after I’d completed the stairway and told me, “You know what I like most about your decorations?”

Taken aback by her question I told her, “No.”

She continued, “They look just as nice during the day as they do at night.”

I asked her which decorations she was referring to, and she told me the stairway.  I had to agree.  Actually though, the stairway looks far better during the day than at night.  Even with lights hidden among the layers of tulle and decorations, at night much of the beauty of all my hard work is lost.

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In addition to the banister decorations, new also this year are the tomato cage trees on top of my doll cabinet and hall closet.  I first wrapped the trees with orange lights and then brown tulle for the one on top of the doll cabinet and black tulle for the two on top of the closet.  Adding a few decorations to the tulle so they looked nice during the day, the project was complete.  This was a quick and easy project and cost very little as I only had to but the tulle.

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Besides the stairway, there are two other focal points in the great room — the mantle and the television cabinet.

The mantel is decorated with several ceramics I made as well as some Halloween themed pictures.

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The television area holds three more of my favorite home-made ceramics.  These are large pieces that I made back when my kids were still babies.  It took me months to complete these and now they are the absolute first decorations I have to put up.

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My Ghoul Ceramic

My Ghoul Ceramic

My Mummy Ceramic

My Mummy Ceramic

My Grave Marker Ceramic

My Grave Marker Ceramic

The bats on top of the television were made by me as well.  You will also notice the mouse and witch Annalee dolls that are front and center.  I love these hand painted dolls and have a huge collection of Christmas ones that I have been collecting since I was 16 years old.

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The coffee and end table in the great room have decorations as well.  The coffee table is home to two large character spiders that I painted and the end table has some egg-bats and a haunted tree I made.

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The remainder of the great room is a combination of homemade and store-bought decorations I’ve been collecting for more than 20 years now.

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Every morning when I come downstairs, and every night when I turn out the lights for the day, the great room is the room I see.  All the decorations hold wonderful memories and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

Homemade Comfort

The past couple of weeks have been challenging, to put it mildly.  After too many mishaps, spills, and catastrophes I finally took a moment to do something a bit different.

I have been sewing for years but would never consider myself a seamstress, in any sense of the word.  I have made all the valances and drapes for our home, most of the kids Halloween costumes throughout the years, and a few other projects, but still, my skills are limited.

Even though my sewing abilities are limited, it doesn’t stop me from trying.  This morning I spent three hours working on a fall swing coat.  I bought a pattern for the coat last winter after Christmas with the intension of making seasonal/holiday swing coats.  Until now this plan just sat in the back of my mind, waiting for the right moment.  Today was the right moment.

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When I went shopping for the fall/Halloween fabric the stores were already sold out of all the fleece.  I found this particular fleece and thought it would definitely be appropriate for fall.  I cut the pieces out a few days ago and sewed it this morning.

It isn’t perfect.  Nothing I ever make is, but I think it looks pretty good.  What would I do differently for the next one — I think I might line it.  I love to line things because it always gives it a more finished look.  At least a homemade finished look.

Taking a breather from everything that just doesn’t seem to be working out for me felt good this morning and so does the wonderfully soft fleece drapped over my shoulders right now, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.